02 May 2006

Feeling Salty

Well, I have a blog. "Blog" is a word I formerly hated, fyi. However, I find myself wanting to comment on life and wanting people to interact with my commentary so I'm posting a weblog. I should quit using the phrase, "I'll never..."
And I have named my blog, "Salt for the Spirit." Why, you ask?
Well, those of you who know me, know that is the title of my newsletter article. It is also a title of which I am pretty proud. (Yes, I know where pride goeth!)
I love salt. It is an affection cultivated by my family. My grandmother is the best everyday cook I've ever encountered and liberal salting accompanies every dish. And I have always been a fan. I remember coming in from playing outside on hot summer days and heading for the Claussen pickle jar when I would gulp salty dill pickle juice right out of the container. Sounds disgusting now, but boy was it ever delish then!
Turns out that I'm in pretty good company when it comes to holding an adoration for salt. In the Old Testament, salt was used as a sign of covenant and God's people were commanded to bring their grain offerings with salt before God. In fact, salt became a symbol of God's covenant. Known for its preservative qualities, its tendency to be unchanging, it was representative of God's unchanging commitment to God's people.
It was also used as a sign of covenant between individuals. A pinch of salt symbolized a promise to each other and a willingness to attempt to emulate God's everlasting relationship with humanity.
Salt can heal wounds. It can enhance flavors. In Matthew, Jesus tells his followers to be "salt for the earth" and to not lose their saltiness because these properties are not easily replaced. "Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another," he tells us in Mark. In Colossians we read "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."
Yet salt can also be destructive. It can irritate and it can even kill. Sowing an enemy's land with salt guaranteed that their harvest and livelihood would be destroyed. It is not something to be taken lightly.
What if we, as followers of Jesus Christ, decided to get a bit more salty? What if we served and loved Christ together with others, working to enhance their gifts, trusting that they are working to enhance our gifts? What if we worked at healing the broken hearted by introducing them to the healing love of Jesus? What if we preserved God's word and the deep, unflappable knowledge that God's abiding presence is always with us by interacting with each other in peace, gentleness, honesty and courage?
I don't know about you, but I think it's worth trying. I hear a dill pickle calling!

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